Marshall jumped out to a quick lead on the Bears of the New York Institute of Technology on the first of two home runs by Herd first baseman Corie O'Bryan, who crunched a hanging change well over the centerfield wall to plate second baseman Aaron Jamieson, who reached on an error by the Tech shortstop. O'Bryan would add to the lead in the fourth with a second consecutive shot to center, giving MU a 3-2 lead after New York Tech had scored two runs in the top of the inning.
"I caught a changeup that hung up on (pitcher Wayne Seder of NYT)," said O'Bryan. "The next time, I hit a pretty good slider. It felt good to get the team the lead back after they scored a couple of runs." O'Bryan had a big weekend for Marshall, hitting 5-of-10 over the three games. He had two home runs, two doubles on Saturday and four runs-batted-in for the series as the MU senior increased his average to .314 and upped his RBI total to 28 for the year.
The Herd put the game away in the sixth inning, sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring six runs. Included in the outburst were a double by DH Francois Larmore to start things off; a RBI single by third baseman Adam Frederick, now second on the team with 30 RBI to Larmore's 31, and Frederick also stole a base; a two-RBI single by right fielder Joe Glevenyak, who also stole a base; and a two-RBI single by shortstop Mike Koitsopoulos, who also stole a base. In all, Marshall stole five bases in the game, including centerfielder Chris Monaco's Mid-American Conference-leading 29th steal in 39 attempts. He came into the weekend seventh in the nation in steal percentage.
Sophomore Chris Koutsavlis (2-4) won his second game of the year with seven innings of five-hit, three-run baseball (only two runs were earned). He struck out six to run his total to 39 for the year, third-best on the team, and walked only one Bear. Steve Ziroli and Patrick Molinari pitched an inning each of no-hit, no-run baseball to close out the three game sweep of New York Tech (11-23). Marshall is now 15-13 in non-conference games (3-8 in the MAC) and 13-5 at University Heights for the season.
Marshall had great pitching from the starters all weekend. On Saturday, Huntington sophomore Chris Cummings got his first-ever start and pitched five innings of two-hit, no-run baseball to even his record at 2-2 for the season. Glevenyak and left fielder Brad Helm both knocked in two runs in a 7-1 win. On Friday, Brian Chrisman (3-1) pitched five innings, giving up seven hits and just three runs and left the game with a 4-2 lead. His seven strikeouts raised his team-leading total to 51 on the season. Scott Henning (4-5) would throw 1.1 inning of two-hit, no-run baseball in relief for Marshall to pick up his fourth win of the year, best on the staff. MU rallied from a 7-4 hole in the sixth to score three in the bottom of the inning on a double by Frederick, RBI single by Helm, infield single by Koutsavlis, RBI single by Monaco and sacrifice fly by Jamieson. MU would win 9-7 when catcher Rich Russell singled with one out in the seventh. Glevenyak drew a two-out walk and Helm loaded the bases by being hit by a pitch. Koitsopoulos then drove in the winning runs with a single to center. Huntington senior Chris Meadows pitched the ninth to collect his team-leading fifth save, just one away from tying his MU record six (which he saved in 2003). Meadows is the career saves leader for Marshall with 13 to date.
Marshall travels west on Interstate 64 on Tuesday to renew the "I-64 Series" with the Eagles of Morehead State University. It will be a double-header, beginning at 2:00 p.m. in Morehead, Kentucky, and the Eagles lead the all-time series 60-51-3. This is Marshall Baseball's second longest series played, only trailing the Ohio-MU 141 games, and the teams split in Huntington on Apirl 6. Marshall won the first game 5-1, but lost the second game 6-5. Marshall returns to MAC play at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, beginning a three-game series in Huntington with the Chippewas of Central Michigan University. CMU was 19-19, 7-4 in the MAC, prior to Sunday's game against Northern Illinois.
If Marshall can go 10-6 down the stretch (winning 2-of-3 in each of the final four MAC series with CMU at home this weekend; @ Akron and @ Ball State; and home against Buffalo May 21-22-23, basically posting a 8-4 mark the last month of MAC play) and winning at least 2-of-4 games left with Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky (home and away in May), Marshall could set a new school record for victories with a 28-27 mark. It would also give the Herd its first winning season in a decade, since MU was 23-20 in 1994. Marshall would also tie its previous high win mark in MAC play with 11 wins, set last season. The Herd's record could be over .500 right now, but Marshall has a 3-9 mark on the year in one-run ball games.